BY ROBERT GAUTNEY Contributing golf columnist Gautney@att.net
The Lexus Collegiate Classic, hosted by Fresno State this week, took on a bit of local flavor as three former local high school stars were on display.
The Cal Bears, the No.1 ranked men's team showed why they are top-rated, cruising to a 37-stroke win over host FSU after 54 holes at Belmont Country Club. The Bears' five best per-round averaged 69.13, including the top three in Micheal Kim (-16), Brandon Hagy (-10) and Clovis' own Michael Weaver (-9). Weaver was the U.S. Amateur runner-up last year.
For FSU, former Liberty High teammates Ruffie Fessler and Rich Gilkey finished T-26 and T-29, respectively. Fessler shot 71-73-73 and Gilkey had rounds of 71-77-70.
For UC Irvine, which finished 7th in the field of 17 teams, former Stockdale High star Pete Fernandez, Jr., finished T-44. Fernandez shot an opening 5-under-par 67 and was equal-second after the first round, but he stumbled a bit with rounds of 74 and 79 for a 220 score (+4).
Besides Cal, FSU and Irvine, other California schools involved included UC Santa Barbara (8th), Pacific (11th), Sacramento State (13th) and Cal Poly SLO (15th).
The annual SCGA Foursomes Championship was played at Red Hill CC in Rancho Cucamonga this week and for the first time in the history of the tournament there were no local players competing.
Brent Brockermeyer from LA and Dick Engel from Lancaster won the event with a hard fought 1-over score of 145 on the tough Red Hill track.
That was good for a 1-shot win over Jerry Chang from LA and Jim Chang from San Marino.
Think you can putt with the best?
If you think you might be the world's best putter then now might be your chance to show it. But it will cost ya if you are making a special trip.
The 2013 World Golf Hall of Fame Putting Championship will be April 12-14 at the Museum at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla. The 10th annual affair will hold qualifying the first two days with the final on the 14th.
Anyone can compete and you can try your hand multiple times on the Hall's 18-hole natural grass putting course. Each time you play the 18 holes, you have to divie up another entry and your one best/lowest score will count towards qualifying.
It's $30 for the first round in advance, $35 after April 11 and each replay is $20 for the upper age bracket while the lower age bracket is $15 for any round of play no matter when you register.
There are two divisions -- 13-and-over and 12-and-under, and men and women and boys and girls compete against each other. The low 16 qualifiers from the first two days will compete in a match-play format on the final day to decide the two champions.
Besides the chance to be crowned a "World" champion, entrants receive a goody bag, lunch and free admission into the World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum.
Should you make the match-play you are guaranteed a free half-hour lesson at the PGA Tour Golf Academy.
Prizes include golf getaways, 3-day golf schools, Players Championship tickets and free rounds of golf.
It might be a bit expensive to make the trip just for the putting event, but if you are making a trip that way anyway, this sounds like a great experience. To register and find out more, just google World Golf Hall of Fame Putting Championship.
Patel breaks through in second event
After missing the cut in the opening tournament of the 2013 Web.com Tour in Panama two weeks ago, Bakersfield pro Bhavik Patel broke through with a top finish in last week's Columbia Championship in Bogota.
Patel, who was tied for the lead after 36 holes (-9), was 10-under-par for 72 holes on the Bogota CC course and finished alone in sixth place. Patel's first professional check was for $25,200 and the nice pocket of coin vaulted him into the 13th position on the money list. The top 25 after the end of the Web.com Tour season earn PGA Tour playing cards for 2014.
Patrick Cantlay, the former No.1 ranked amateur in the world until turning pro in the middle of last year, won his first pro event and is No.1 on the money list at $128,310. Cantlay played in four PGA Tour events to begin the year and missed the cut in three but had an 8th place finish in Pebble Beach and earned over $100K, so he is off to a nice little start for 2013.
This week the Web.com Tour heads to Santiago, Chile, for the Chile Classic today through Sunday. Both Patel and Cantlay are scheduled to compete.
Len Ross in Fresno Easter week
The 66th Len Ross Fresno City Junior Championship will be played March 25-28 on five Fresno area golf courses. The tournament is open to both boys and girls age 17 and under.
Players interested in participating should log on at www.jganc.com. The Len Ross is one of the top junior tournaments every year with many top junior players coming from long distances to compete.
-- The Tulare County Amateur Championship will be March 23-24 on the Valley Oaks GC in Visalia. Prospective players can find out more by calling 559-432-3020.
-- Foss-Kern River golf pro Jacque Servadio, LPGA, is offering March Madness Specials that include (2) for the price of (1) lessons or individual lessons for 20 percent off of "Jacque's Par Package."Servadio will also conduct her "Divot Divas" clinics in March and April which include Driver & Fairway Woods on Mar.15, Putting FUNdamentals on March 29 and Chipping on April 4. Contact Servadio to find out more at ServiceYourSwing.com.
-- The PGA Tour is in two places this week. The top ranked players in the world will be playing in the WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral on the "Blue Monster" in Florida while the rest of the tour will play in the Puerto Rico Open on the Trump International Puerto Rico course in Rio Grande.
-- 2nd CBCC Foundation Golf Tournament and Gala will be March 18 at Seven Oaks CC (Gala is March 17). The proceeds benefit the CBCC Foundation which helps local patients and families dealing with cancer. Call 862-7145 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
-- The "Commit to Life Golf Tournament" presented by The Vernon Valenzuela Memorial Foundation, will be April 15 at the Rio Bravo CC. Information can be obtained at vvmemorialfoundation.org.
-- Updated information (stats, etc.) on local players that are now competing in college golf (Men and Women) is always encouraged by Tee to Green as are golf related stories and information you believe that the readers would want to know about. Send the info to the email address listed below and don't forget about those holes-in-one! And thanks in advance!